The clay jewelry world is well saturated with beautiful products. With the comeback of statement pieces and handmade products, polymer clay jewelry is a regular occurrence on social media.
However, here at Geometrica Designs we do things a little differently.
I make my jewelry from natural clay. Natural mineral clay is sourced from the earth and consists of minerals and water. It is also the clay used to make pottery and ceramics. It is durable, non-toxic, and safe to dispose of. When this clay is fired, it becomes akin to stone and can be returned to the earth and broken-down over time.
Polymer clay, on the other hand, is plastic (usually a polyvinyl chloride, PVC, base). I also recently discovered that most of the large polymer clay manufacturers claim that it is not possible to even use recycled plastics in their products. Polymer "clay" is not really clay at all. There are some amazing artists that do incredible work with polymer clay. However, for my jewelry, I prefer to use natural, locally-source, mineral clay and not contribute to the build up of plastic products on our already-suffering planet. Plastic production and disposal is linked to dangerous chemical emissions that can cause health concerns, and even though I don't know all the details, that is not something I wish to contribute to.
I'm not going to debate the environmentally friendliness of using natural clay, because anyone with a little bit of research skills can quickly find the emissions generated by firing pottery clay in a kiln at 1800 F. (It's not that much, but still not great.) To lower those emissions I only fire my jewelry once (not twice like most pottery) because jewelry does not need to be food-safe.
The other major benefit of using natural clay is that it is locally sourced! I get my clay from Plainsman Clay in Medicine Hat, Alberta - only a couple of hours drive from our studio in Red Deer, Alberta. Locally-sourced also means that through the purchase of our materials we are giving back to our local community, showing support to the businesses that deserve it and need it the most!
Remember to support small and local businesses this year, as we all need a little extra love right now. <3
Stay artsy, my friends.